The 2017 Super Bloom is happening in Southern California! In a lucky turn of events I found myself in LA for an overnight work trip in early April and I found somewhere nearby to see some flowers and enjoy a great hike.
Walker Canyon is a (not so) secret spot is a just on the other side of the hills from Anaheim. This area is beautiful right now due to the wonderful, wet winter we’ve enjoyed, however I think it would be a good hike anytime. There are plenty of flowers right now and the green hills are luscious. Both have a limited lifespan so get out there and go hiking!
This area is so wide open and beautiful that a trail map and specific plan are probably not necessary. Park at the corner of Big Canyon Drive and Lake Street in Lake Elsinore and head up ‘Lake Street’ (which is actually a dirt service road). There aren’t any restrooms or trash services here, so please take your trash (toilet paper and dog poop bags included) with you. Cell service is great so you can use your GPS if desired. Dogs are allowed, but there are rattlesnakes (I almost stepped on one), so careful with the pup if you bring one.
If you just want a quick view of flowers, you can just go about a half a mile up Lake street to a high point and enjoy a beautiful 360 view of rolling hills covered in poppies, mustard, and slender goldfields. For this micro-hike I saw people wearing all sorts of footwear and not carrying any sort of hiking supplies.
For a longer hike continue beyond the first hill and high point and you will be clear of the crowds. Walk along Lake Street and you will come upon a network of service roads for the power lines in the area. There is plenty to explore for as long as you like. If you choose to go into the hills always carry water and a flashlight, and for this hike you are going to want sunscreen and/or a hat.
I walked the dirt road until the sun stared to get low over the mountains and I provoked the ire of a crow trying to build his nest. On the way back I hit the highest peak that had a trail I could find and enjoyed the setting sun’s golden rays caressing the yellow flowers. What a great place. Come for the super bloom, come for the peacefulness, or just come to get away.
-Weekends can be packed and there is commuter traffic in this direction. Plan ahead, visit on a weekday, or just accept the traffic. Once you hike past the first .5 mile you won’t have any company.
-The view is really nice at sunset and the afternoon sun makes the yellows pop. The flowers are going to be in full glory midday as poppies fold up when it starts to cool off. I probably wouldn’t come for sunrise/ early morning
-Please LEAVE NO TRACE, stay on the trails! There are plenty of them that branch off the dirt road, don’t make your own. Don’t pick the flowers! Leave them for others to enjoy, they will just die in a few days on your coffee table, and picking poppies is a crime in CA. And PLEASE pack out your trash. There is no trash service here, take your snack bags, water bottles, and poop bags with you, no one will clean up after you. Oh, and if you want to be a real superstar, take home a few pieces of trash you find along the way to make it a better place